Recent Blog Posts

  • The Auto Deduction in 2018 – Mileage or Actual?
    First and foremost, remember the auto deduction isn’t travel, but expenses for your car, truck or SUV. Also, remember this includes ALL your vehicles as long as they have some sort of business use, i.e. an RV, van, delivery truck or motorcycle used in your business (more articles to come)! Next, the law has changed in 2018 – Big time!! Things got a lot better for business owners with cars/autos…if not AT LEAST you have a lot more options. You can actually write-off a vehicle at lot faster and with bigger deductions! Also, if you are also considering an SUV or Truck as your business vehicle, it’s a whole other set of rules or analysis. You NEED to read “The SUV and Truck Deduction in 2018 – An Unexpected Loophole” There are TWO MAIN OPTIONS to write off auto expenses and it all starts here!! Mileage. On ANY of your ... Read more
  • Maximizing the Home Office Deduction
    The Home Office Deduction is still alive and well…don’t let any accountant tell you otherwise. There are several strategies on how to maximize the Home Office Deduction. It is NOT high risk and every good business owners should take advantage of a home office write-off. The Myth Before I get into the requirements and your options for deducting the home office, keep in mind that I’m sick and tired of hearing new clients and students of mine explain that their personal accountant is ‘afraid’ to take this deduction and explain it’s ‘high risk’.  That simply isn’t true.  As long as you are entitled to take it, aren’t too aggressive, and take use the proper method/strategy there is nothing to worry about.  Even if you are audited, you shouldn’t shy away from taking a deduction when you are legally able to do so. FIRST:  The Requirements to Claim the Deduction Before ... Read more
  • Plan Your Travel for a Tax Write-Off
    In my opinion, travel is one of the most underutilized tax deductions by small business owners today!! Making sure our travel has a ‘business purpose’ is critical and a perfect opportunity for business owners for a great tax write-off. In fact, even properly planned holiday travel can potentially generate significant tax deductions while we are visiting family or going to our special/romantic locations around the U.S. and the world. Even if we gain a few pounds, we might shed a few tax dollars. Unlike meals and entertainment, which are limited by 50%, travel expenses are 100% deductible. These include airfare, hotel, rental cars, valet, taxi, trains, tolls, etc. You would be shocked to know how many new clients’ tax returns come across my desk every year with literally zero travel deductions. Consider the 5 following ideas that you might be able to coordinate with or plan ‘in and around’ your ... Read more
  • What is a Registered Agent
    What in the world is a Registered Agent? When you first hear this term, if you are like me, your mind goes straight to Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, or the ever famous Bond, James Bond. Sadly, I have the cruel task of explaining to clients that, while creating a new entity is pretty cool, you don’t get to join an exclusive interstate spy ring when you choose to incorporate your business. So, if a registered agent isn’t an international man of mystery, what is it? How lawsuits work and the need for a Registered Agent To explain the role and purpose of a Registered Agent (or “R.A.”), we need to first understand how lawsuits work in the United States. To initiate any lawsuit, “process” (papers used to put a Defendant on notice of a pending lawsuit) has to be served on a Defendant personally. A Plaintiff generally will hire the ... Read more
  • When Should You put Your Spouse on Payroll?
    For those that are married, this is a very important question and something we often analyze for clients in our office. In fact, many clients rush to put their spouse on payroll, but for the wrong reasons and it could actually be a costly mistake. Essentially, there are 3 situations when business owners may put their spouse on payroll, rather than just share draws or distributions (typically the best move). Two of these three reasons make sense, and the other is a deceptive ruse I need to warn you about. The first reason to put your spouse on payroll is for the purpose maximizing your spouse’s 401k contribution. Even if your spouse has a 401k through another job, or simply wants to put more into long-term savings than what an IRA may allow, the 401k plan could be the perfect fit.  I actually think this is a great way to ... Read more
  • Closing an Estate: What You Need to Know when a Loved One Passes
    It’s hard enough to deal with the emotional grief when a loved one passes, however the “paperwork” and “red tape” can make a tough situation even worse. But frankly, it doesn’t stop there either does it? If you’re your lucky, your loved one left a detailed Will or Trust, specific instructions, lists, and guidance to help you divide up their assets. If not, the family drama begins and then it can take a lot of medication and therapy to bounce back months or even years later after the experience is over – Seriously. The reality is, the handling of someone’s estate can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining, not to mention time consuming. Here are some important steps, considerations and issues to address when helping administer the estate of a loved one. Gather all the documents. This is definitely one of the most important steps and first on my list. ... Read more
  • Health Care Strategies for Small Business Owners – Update
    As small business owners, we have more options than any other group of Americans to save on health care costs. We ALSO have to keep up on the changes. Every year, another aspect of ‘ObamaCare’ changes or ‘TrumpCare’ changes the rules and options. All I know, is that if one takes the time to learn a little, health care tax planning and well as cost saving strategies can be phenomenal.  It simply takes a little bit of study and consulting with sometimes several different professionals to create the perfect plan for you. Here are some health care updates and strategies to consider that can help you save thousands of dollars when you build your ‘plan of attack’. Some call it ‘KohlerCare’…ok…that’s what I call it- 9 Steps to Save AND Create Wealth through Health Care Planning! 1. Try to avoid any and all taxes under The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) ... Read more
  • Health Care Strategies for Small Business Owners – Update
    As small business owners, we have more options than any other group of Americans to save on health care costs. We ALSO have to keep up with the changes. Every year, another aspect of ‘ObamaCare’ changes or ‘TrumpCare’ changes the rules and options. All I know is that if one takes the time to learn a little, health care tax planning and well as cost-saving strategies can be phenomenal.  It simply takes a little bit of study and consulting with sometimes several different professionals to create the perfect plan for you. Here are some healthcare updates and strategies to consider that can help you save thousands of dollars when you build your ‘plan of attack’. Some call it ‘KohlerCare’…ok…that’s what I call it- 9 Steps to Save AND Create Wealth through Health Care Planning! 1. Try to avoid any and all taxes under The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) if possible.  ... Read more
  • New Sales Tax Rules for Online Sellers
    On Thursday, June 21st, 2018 the rules changed for online sellers and the collection of sales tax. As if we weren’t already still reeling from the largest tax law change in over 30 years, aka the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…the Supreme Court joined the party. By a 5-to-4 vote the highest court in the land ruled that States now have the authority to make online retailers collect sales tax. Oh and by the way, the ruling didn’t provide any clarity on the process or boundaries of the sales tax collection either. Some argue this ruling opened a real hornets nest. Now any State can regulate who is subject to sales tax on its internet sales to consumers in their state, and what those thresholds are for their particular state. The only body that can provide some uniformity to this whole mess is Congress, and of course we know how ... Read more
  • What is an Accredited Investor – Rare as a Spotted Snow Leopard?
    If you are looking to raise capital, finding an “Accredited Investor”, or even being able to explain the rules to a possible investor, can seem as impossible as catching a glimpse of a Snow Leopard. Yes, it can be difficult to find investors for your project, and it certainly seems that the SEC makes it more difficult than it should be, but there is a reason why…and more importantly, reasons why you need to know the rules and follow them. The bedrock of most exemptions from SEC registration is a requirement that securities only be sold to “Accredited Investors.” This way people that aren’t sophisticated enough to understand investing aren’t taken advantage of. Qualifying as an Accredited Investor So, what kind of education or experience is necessary to obtain the status of Accredited Investor? None whatsoever. For most intents and purposes, the operative definition of Accredited Investor from Rule 501 ... Read more
  • The Trustee, Executor and Guardian: The Estate Plan Trifecta
    Many people ask us on a regular basis ‘who’ is going to carry out their wishes when they’re gone.  All of us should have a Will or Trust, but the ‘people’ that are going to implement it can be a big question mark sometimes.  It’s common to be concerned about who will pick it up and ‘run with it’ making sure all of your wishes are carried out. In fact, when setting up your Will and Trust, it’s vital to understand the roles and differences between the Trustee, Executor, and Guardian.  In fact, these three parties are the foundation, or ‘trifecta’ of the persons that will be implementing your Estate Plan.The Guardian First, and most importantly for those with children, is appointing the proper guardian for your minor children. This is the individual or individuals who will raise your children if you were to pass away before they reach the ... Read more
  • Emergency Preparedness for Your Business
    Natural disasters are all around us.  It is absolutely astonishing how the weather patterns are changing and the impact they are having with storms and even the likelihood of fires. Right now it is flooding, but what could it be next. With that said, if we bring up the topic of being “prepared” for such a disaster, many of us immediately think of our personal or family situation, but not the for emergency preparedness in regards to our business. We often forget that these same disasters affect business owners and can create even greater hurdles for entrepreneurial families to get back on their feet. Personally, I have been a Scoutmaster off and on for years, and not only do I try to teach my boys to live the Scout Moto: “Be Prepared”, but even I oftentimes forget the little things.  There was a particular trip on a campout that ... Read more
  • What is a Self-Directed IRA? – The Truth
    A self-directed IRA (traditional or Roth), is a retirement account YOU control. That’s right, you get to decide what you invest in…NOT just stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, or whatever your brokerage account is selling that month. Now your broker may tell you that you can’t do this and it’s prohibited. They’re blatantly wrong or simply lying. You can actually invest in real estate, promissory notes, precious metals, cryptocurrency, small businesses, and concert tickets, or raw land. The truth is your brokerage, ‘the typical Wall Street platform’, can’t allow you to self-direct, but you can move your account to a custodian or trust company that follows YOUR direction to invest in what you know best!! The usual reaction I hear from investors is, “Why haven’t I ever heard of these self-directed IRAs or self-directed 401(k)s before? Furthermore, why have I always been told that my retirement portfolio has to be ... Read more
  • Your Estate Plan and its Supporting Cast: Mini-Me, Thor, The Office, and The Titanic
    When most people hear about an estate plan, they normally associate it with a trust.  Certainly the trust is the lead actor in the estate plan because the trust is designed to set forth the plan or instructions for what will happen to your assets in your trust upon your death.  For most people, making sure your legacy goes to who you want it to go to (or not!) is the primary reason to for estate planning.  However, estate planning is not limited to just what happens to our assets when we die, but also includes a supporting cast of other legal documents which, although it may not be as popular as the trust, serves very important purposes in your estate plan.  This usually includes the Certificate of Trust, the Pourover Will, the Durable Springing Financial Power of Attorney, the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and/or Living Will. ... Read more
  • RV Ownership Tax Strategies
    Let’s get real, we don’t buy an RV for a tax write-off.  They are a utility vehicle in some rare circumstances, but they are certainly by far a lifestyle choice and just what they are called: a “recreational” vehicle. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find a few tax perks.. IF WE DO IT RIGHT. Now with that said, I’ve got good news and bad news, and as my mother taught me to ‘get your chores done first’, let’s get it over with.  The regrettable news I need to share is that the RV no longer qualifies as a 2nd home for a mortgage interest deduction. Personal deductions for an RV Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December of 2017, and in effect until 2025, the only deductible mortgage interest is that of your primary residence. Furthermore, it’s only interest on acquisition indebtedness.  That means you ... Read more